December, 2018, brought gifts of data from both the Census and the FCC. These new data sets are now incorporated throughout the Connectivity Explorer.
The new Census data (released December 6, 2018) adds information about broadband and computer usage across the US.This is a rich set of data that contains many fascinating relationships. I’ll be adding several new data views to help you understand those relationships over the next few weeks.
The new FCC wireline data set (released December 12, 2018) contains extensive changes, while the updated wireless data contains corrections to the July 2017 trove.
You can now specify a target (wireline) speed for each notebook. So if your target goal is, say, 100 Mbs download, 25 Mbs upload, set this in the notebook, and that speed will be added to various views and choices. If you don’t set a target speed, it will fall back to the FCC goal of 25↓/3↑.
You can also set the expected economic boost for a community (in annual dollars per household). This value is used on the overview page where the annual economic benefit of broadband is displayed. The help pages talk more about where this value came from. I’m using the mean value from the Swank Program Study (Connecting the Dots Of Ohio’s Broadband Policy)
Here’s more about the Swank Program study: The first, Measuring Broadband’s (Public) Return On Investment, is an overview from the Daily Yonder. The second, from the Blandin Foundation uses the study’s results to analyze several counties in Minnesota.
The I3 Connectivity Explorer is the broadband visualization tool for anyone who knows that her or his broadband options are limited and wants to improve their situation.
In the U.S., most of us would agree that “my broadband options are limited,” unless we already live in a metropolitan neighborhood supporting multiple high-speed network providers. This project’s goal is to help everyone else get out of the first group “my broadband is iffy” and into a second group “and I want to do something about it!” so that eventually we can all say “our broadband is great!”
The I3 Connectivity Explorer is intended to provide a common basis for understanding your local situation. The application gathers data from U.S. Government agencies — FCC, Census, EPA, USDA — and other public sources such as the Measurement Lab and the Pro Publica Congress API. It then localizes the data to the places we live: towns, counties and county subdivisions, tribal regions, school and congressional districts; and presents the data in easy to use graphical (maps and charts) and tabular formats.
The application aspires to provide the best data possible based on openly available data sources. But the real data is imperfect. It’s spotty. It’s what the providers report or users collect. The data will inform you broadly about your your town, your county, or your tribal area, but it won’t tell you what precisely what is available today in your apartment or on your front porch. The Connectivity Explorer will help you with where to start looking and provide ideas on to get better connectivity to everyone in your community.
Here’s a brief introduction to what it can do:
If you want to take it out for a spin, request an account! Or find out more about using the tool or being part of the community.